March 06, 2013

Phil Esposito on Gordie Howe

"It was my second game in the NHL and we were playing in the Olympia. I was sitting on the bench and Billy Reay, who was coach of the Blackhawks, said, 'Esposito, you go out there with (Bobby) Hull and let Hull take the face-off.' This is almost the third period. I'm out there and I'm scared. I'm looking around. There's Bobby Hull, Alex Delvecchio, Bill Gadsby, Terry Sawchuk, Glenn Hall, Pierre Pilote, Ted Lindsay and there's Gordie Howe. I can't believe it. I'm standing on the left wing next to Gordie, and Hull says to me, 'You got that old son-of-a-bitch?' Gordie just looks at me and smiles. The puck drops and I go in to get it and suddenly. . . WHAM! He gives me an elbow right beneath the nose in the upper lip. I still have the scar where I got six stitches.

- Phil Esposito

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